Military Professionalism and a Code of Ethics
This paper will discuss the need for a code of ethics for military officers. The first part of the paper will discuss the attributes which make military officers professionals; the second part of the paper will examine the various ethical principles inherent in this profession; the third part of the paper will argue the case in favor of creating a formal code of ethics for military officers; and the fourth part of the paper will discuss some of the issues in the Ethics Case Study.
Professionals stand apart from others engaged in particular careers. Whilst many vocations contain some of the characteristics of professions, they do not include all of the elements necessary to distinguish themselves as such. Occupations such as sculpture, copywriting, and stenography may be specialized in function but they do not meet the requirements of a profession. In order for an occupation to inhabit the elevated status of profession, it must meet certain levels of expertise, responsibility, and corporateness (Huntington, 1957, pp. 2-3).
A professional has specialized knowledge and skill which can only be acquired through prolonged education and experience. Such skill and experience form the basis of objective standards of professional competence that separate the practicing professional from laymen and measure the competence of such professional. This professional knowledge must also be intellectual in nature, allowing for its preservation in writing and advancement through study. Moreover, this knowledge and experience forms a segment of tradition in society (Huntington, 1957, p. 3; Wakin, 1996, p. 123).
A professional is also a practicing expert who works in a social context and performs a service to society. Ultimately, the professional's client is society because he or she uses a unique skill to perform a service required by society. Financial remuneration is not the aim but only...